Dancing with death

Last night I sat next to Molly, watching my aunt dance with her new husband.  My stepfather walked onto the dance floor and took his sister, the bride, in his arms for their dance.  And, of course, I sat there thinking of how much I’d love to see my son and daughter, currently mortal enemies, dance together at one of their weddings.

It had been a long day, starting with the kids circle support group.  We had a large group this time – about 12 families.  After the kids went their directions, the parents gathered to talk.  One parent noted that we had a high proportion of people with very advanced cancers – metastatic colon, lung, pancreatic, mesothelioma, and kidney (me), among others.  A few of the cancer parents had been given a timeline – a year, two years.  Others of us don’t have a timeline yet.  We aren’t blessed (or cursed) with that clock ticking quite so loudly.

But still, it’s there.  And even if our use-by-date is unsaid, we know that our time is limited.

I know that the likelihood of being able to watch either of my kids get married is slim.  I hope that I’ll be there, as well as for the births of their children and all the other highs and lows of their lives.  I hope to see my children become friends, or at least be able to be friendly with one another.

And that’s where I was, emotionally, as I sat, sobbing quietly, in a bathroom stall, where I’d run to hide my tears.  But spending my time mourning my (possible) losses isn’t living, at least not how I want to live.  I want, need, to be in the moment, enjoying my family, my friends, my life.  When I forget the present, I dive into the bleak possibilities of the future.

With that in mind, I wiped off the tears, splashed water on my face, and went back downstairs for a slice of wedding cake and to dance and laugh right then, in the present, with my family.

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8 thoughts on “Dancing with death

  1. Thank you for sharing that. Your honesty is moving. AND, I think we need to honor those moments that move “across our mental screens” as being in the moment, as well…but as all moments do, they pass and we live in the next moment with the next moment’s truths.

  2. My sister and I used to be very much like your two. It wasn’t until we separated when I moved out and we had some space that we were able to be friends. We ended up being college roommates and being in each other’s weddings. If you had told me as a child that would happen, I would have never believed it.

  3. I’m completely touched by the alutristic nature of the desires expressed here. The fact that the happiness of others is at the forefront of your concerns is a deep exposure of the caring person you must be. Thank you for sharing what must an unimagineable emotional experience.

  4. *hugs* I hope your kids will find a way to put aside current enmity sooner rather than later, and that you will live to see that and many other important events in their lives.

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